by Pastor Gene
So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” 70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” 71 He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray him.
- What are some of the ways Judas’s name has become infamous even in our own day?
- The name Judas means ‘YHWH leads’ or ‘Jehovah leads.’ Do you see any irony here?
- Judas was from the town of Kerioth, making him the only one of the Twelve who was not from Judah. Does this perhaps give us some insight into the man? How about the fact that he is listed last in all of the lists of the apostles found in the Gospels – and always with the remark, ‘who betrayed him’ or ‘who became a traitor’ (Matthew 10:2-4, Mark 3:13-19, Luke 6:13-16)?
- Judas betrayed Jesus and Peter denied Jesus. What’s the difference between these two Apostles?
- The Gospels record how Jesus was ‘anointed’ by a woman who washed His feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. But there seem to be contradictions in the accounts. Compare, for instance, Luke’s account (7:36-50) And John’s account (12:1-8). How are they similar? How are they different? How do we reconcile this apparent contradiction?
- John records that Judas complained that the costly perfume the woman poured out upon Jesus was a waste of money; it should have been used for charity (John 12:4-5). But what surprising facts do we learn by comparing this passage with Matthew 26:8 or Mark 14:4? What do these passages tell us about Judas’ influence on the other Eleven? What does it tell us about how the others felt about him?
- Judas was undeniably possessed by Satan (Luke 22:3, John 13:2). What can we deduce about Judas from this?
- Judas, famously, betrayed his Master for 30 pieces of silver. What’s so extraordinary about this price (Exodus 21:32). Which aspects of Zechariah’s stunning prophecy (found in 11:12-13) were literally fulfilled by Judas? Which part of it is sarcastic? What does the amount paid tell us about how Judas and the Pharisees esteemed Jesus? What is a ‘potter’s field’? As you study, see also Matthew 26:14-16, 27:3-10.
- Extra credit: do some internet sleuthing about the so-called ‘Gospel of Judas’ which took the world by storm a few years back. What does it say about Judas? How does it re-interpret his history? If it were true, how would it effect Christianity? How would it affect YOU personally?